Commentary and Philosophy Poetry posted August 1, 2020

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An Unappreciated, Unsung Spice

Ode to Vanilla

by Beverly A McBride

Praise to the lovely lyric flower and fruit.

Vanilla derived from the orchid,

So rare and hard to get, so easy to mimic,

Extracting its essence into lesser strengths.

Vanilla, desired by chefs and cooks alike

So many dishes depend on it.

The most used of spices.

Praise to the plethora of dishes elevated by it.

Vanilla, also used to describe plain lives and wardrobes,

Bland, unexciting, unadorned, undistinguished;

A vanilla life is unexplored, underdeveloped.

Everyone understands what a vanilla life means.

We give vanilla it's due praise

Flavoring of choice in volume and intensity

It's vanilla we measure into our signature dishes

And every day pudding alike.

We pour the smell, evoking the flavor into

Candles and room fresheners, too.

Enter a room, evoke the memories,

For that fragrant whiff of sweetness memory.

Vanilla, the kitchen workhorse deserves our praise.

No other tastiness melts blandness so well or often

Pure, tasty, fragrant, simple

Praise to the vanilla bean, the simple yet complicated fruit.

One Word Only contest entry

Vanilla is one of the most expensive spices, (next to Saffron). It is used in so many dishes, and harvesting it is fairly easy if you can get your hands on the beans. When you buy it, there's many different strengths and processes to get it into a bottle. Yet cooks use it just willy-nilly in the kitchen, as if it were a staple, not a luxury. The vanilla fragrance is often used to freshen up a room. But to call a life or a look Vanilla, well, we don't want that, do we? Enjoy your pudding, cake, icing, cookie, whatever treat you use it in, a little more for having taken a moment, and given an ode to vanilla.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by VMarguarite at

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